Your School
Translate

Schedules: Notes on the blended learning model

Policy Scope:

Full community

Policy Owners:

Leslie Richardson, Director of Preschool – 2nd Grade

Jon Fulk, Interim Director of 3rd–5th Grades and Specialists

Last Updated:

Friday, September 11, at 12:00 p.m.

Starting Notes

  • San Mateo County was added to the state's COVID-19 watch list on July 29. As Governor Newsom has outlined, this has implications for in-person vs. distance learning for all schools in the county, including PBS. PBS has been focused on planning for school with optionality; either on campus, using a blended model, or a full distance learning. We are continuing to hone our plans so we are always in a position to do what’s best for students by delivering an excellent curriculum in whatever model we’re using and based on our compliance with state and county guidelines.
  • This means that K-5 is starting school in a distance learning environment. 
  • ELC will start the year with instruction on-campus because state-licensed child care centers are subject to different regulations than K-12 programs.
  • We’ve developed a thoughtful plan to pivot from K-5 distance learning to a blended academic model without shifting cohort assignments and teaching schedules. This model has been designed with ELC and 5th Grade fully on-campus, and K-4 with a rotation of two weeks on-campus and one week distance learning, details below. 
  • This creative approach helps maximize the on-campus experience, more than originally conceived, while aligning with campus density restrictions and strong supervision of the rules of the road for health and safety. 
  • Clearly, the state’s mandate means we need to use a graduated approach to reopen campus. It’s important for families to know we’re prepared for that.

Summary of the blended learning model

  • Preschool and Pre-K will rotate morning cohorts and afternoon cohorts with all students on-campus Monday through Friday. We have created small groups to optimize learning relationships, peer socialization, and small teacher-student ratios for our youngest learners. 
  • Kindergarten through 4th Grade will use a rotation of two weeks on-campus and one week distance learning (rotation visual and schedules below). To make this work, there are three cohorts in the grade: Cohort Blue, Cohort Teal, Cohort Green. Classes will meet Monday through Friday. This creative approach is exciting because it maximizes the on-campus experience while also ensuring strong supervision of the rules of the road for health and safety. Each student is assigned a “Connection Teacher” (lead faculty) as the first point of contact for parents and to accommodate the rotation of three cohorts per grade. Teacher collaboration across the grade will create opportunities for academics with multiple teachers, with the Connection Teacher serving like a student’s faculty advisor in middle school.
  • 5th Grade will have all students on-campus, Monday through Friday, to maximize their on-campus experience as they anticipate transitioning to a new school in 2021 and to support their middle school process. Our older learners will quickly adopt the rules of the road for health and safety, and their smaller grade size makes this possible.
  • Full-time distance learners are included across various cohorts, not separated out, to create a unified classroom experience; also being very intentional about curriculum delivery to ensure our care for academic rigor, emotional intelligence, and connections to their peers and teachers.
  • We have developed a thoughtful plan to pivot from full distance learning to this model, and vice versa, across the school, without shifting cohort assignments and teaching schedules.

Important to keep in mind

  • Creative approach that shows faculty commitment to doing what’s best for students and maximizing the on-campus experience, but more complex than the original rotation we had contemplated (which was one week on campus and one week distance learning)
  • Creating a sense of normalcy as students are on campus more to help routines get established
  • Maintains full academic program in familiar spaces with familiar teachers
  • Intentional design to maximize the on-campus experience in relation to distance learning so that one week builds off the other, and so that the distance learning week builds from the two on-campus weeks
  • There is one grade-level cohort doing distance learning each week, not two, which allows more focused attention on those learners in that week.
  • Acknowledging that teachers will have more exposure to more students, which is on the minds of teachers, although we preserve a stable cohort model for students
  • More student connections with more teachers, which requires greater teacher attention to consistent routines, alignment across cohorts, teacher collaboration, and transitions
  • Elevates leadership of our co-teachers and associates
  • Can use the model’s dimmer switch to increase or decrease on-campus component, or to pivot to full-time distance learning

K-4 blended learning rotation

  • The visual below illustrates the model. Students would spend their two weeks on-campus in the same classroom space for that rotation, creating a sense of normalcy and consistency.
  • When they return to campus after their week of distance learning, students would switch to the other classroom space for those two weeks. 
  • We recognize that this requires attention to logistics for students’ individual materials, as they transition to their week of distance learning and then back to on-campus learning.
     

Sample rotation for K–4 cohorts in blended learning model

School Week On-campus Classroom
EAST
On-campus Classroom
WEST
Distance Learning
Week #1

BLUE

TEAL GREEN
Week #2

BLUE

GREEN TEAL
Week #3 TEAL GREEN

BLUE

Week #4 TEAL

BLUE

GREEN
Week #5 GREEN

BLUE

TEAL
Week #6 GREEN TEAL

BLUE

Week #7

BLUE

TEAL GREEN
Week #8

BLUE

GREEN TEAL
Week #9 TEAL GREEN

BLUE

K–5 blended learning daily schedule

K–5 Monday–Thursday blended learning

Time Activity
8:00 a.m. Arrival on campus
8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting
Synchronous with on-campus and distance learners
9:00 a.m. Academic session 1
10:30 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. Academic session 2
12:45 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Academic session 3
2:55 p.m. Closing Circle
Synchronous with on-campus and distance learners
3:05 p.m. Dismissal
3:30 p.m. Approximate conclusion of the school day

K–5 Friday blended learning

Time Activity
8:00 a.m. Arrival on campus
8:30 a.m. Morning Meeting
Synchronous with on-campus and distance learners
9:00 a.m. Academic session 1 (core subjects)
10:30 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. Academic session 2 (core subjects)
12:30 p.m. Dismissal
Supervised by specialists to allow for a break for grade-level teachers
1:00 p.m. Approximate conclusion of the school day
1:45 p.m. Time reserved for faculty team planning, professional work, and parent communication
3:45 p.m. Conclusion of the academic day for faculty